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Amateur Resume Mistakes

Mark writes in:

I came across your blog while searching for tips on CV-s and cover letters. I found a lot of helpful advice, but none about putting your photo in the CV.

I know it’s not common to embed photos in your resume for the production intern positions, but it seems to me that by doing so, it would make one stand out from the rest of the crowd.

Nope. Don’t do it.

You’re right that it’ll stand out, but in the same way it would stand out if you wrote it on human flesh and inked it in blood. You’ll look like a weirdo, and it’ll get thrown out immediately.

Every once in a while, you’ll see a posting on the UTA Joblist that asks for a photo of yourself. I assume that’s because the employer wants a hot assistant, but isn’t allowed to actually say so.

I don’t apply for those.

By putting your photo on your resume, you appear to actually be looking for that kind of job. “Hey, look at me! I’m hot. Don’t you want a hot PA?” This is even worse if you’re not hot; then you’re not only inappropriate, but also delusional.

* * *

Gary commented on Monday’s post:

I’m moving to LA in 3 months from Miami and currently my resume says Director/Producer all over it but I’m looking to start off getting PA jobs in LA on bigger sets. Do you think it will hurt me that everything says Director/Producer on it instead of PA?

Yes. It looks ridiculous.

Think about it. If you really are a director/producer, then you wouldn’t be applying to a PA job. But if you’re not (and you are not), then you look like a rube who just rolled off the turnip truck.

You need to understand that your student films or your own shorts don’t count as real experience. In terms of art, yes, an independent short film can be as good and real and important as a major studio feature film. That’s why we have a short film Oscar.

But there’s no budget, no unions, no rules. The actual work you have to do as a PA is a million miles away from directing a short film.

All that being said, if you lack experience, and you absolutely have to include your student projects just to fill out the page, put it in separate section marked “Student Films.” At least it shows enthusiasm for the field, if not actual experience.

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4 Responses

  1. if i sent you my resume could you look it over and tell me what im doing wrong i have over 50 production credits mostly as a PA should i list all of my credits or just the most recent ones? If im freelance should i list the production company?

  2. Hanging on the wall in my production managers office is a PA’s photo resume. The PA did not get brought in for an interview but their resume is displayed for everyone to enjoy when they need a laugh.

    1. The APOC is the assistant production coordinator. I’m sure the union has stricter definitions, but in my experience, each job’s responsibility is rather fluid. I’ve seen APOCs do jobs on one show that the coordinator does on another.

      The only thing for sure is that the coordinator is the boss, the APOC is the underling. But still your boss, so listen to her, too.

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